Residents urged to think of neighbours before lighting bonfires following surge in complaints

Photo: Cchana/Flickr.

Richmondshire residents have been urged to think of their neighbours before lighting bonfires following a surge in complaints.

The district council has seen the number of complaints rise by over 160 per cent in the last few weeks as people take the chance to burn waste after tidying their gardens and allotments.

But with the coronavirus pandemic causing serious respiratory problems, officials say smoke inhalation can make this worse, and it is also not good for people with existing conditions such as COPD and asthma.

As well as the adverse health effects, they say smoke disrupts household activities – drying washing and disturbing people who are continuing to work from home, forcing them to close doors and windows despite the warm weather.

Environmental health officers are urging people to compost their waste, use their fortnightly kerbside collections of garden waste or take rubbish to the reopened household waste recycling centres.

Anyone undertaking building work should make sure the builder does not burn waste, but instead dispose of it in a responsible and legal manner.

Music in gardens and continuous noisy DIY – especially late at night – is also being discouraged as it can disturb people, especially key workers who are working from home.

“Everyone is living and working in unprecedented conditions and we urge them to consider others when undergoing household work or engaging in leisure activities,” said corporate director, Callum McKeon.

“Our environmental health team is currently busy advising and helping businesses to adjust to working in a covid secure way.

“We ask that people assist them by not causing an unnecessary drain on time and resources particularly at this time.”

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